Following Michael Ferguson, Minister for Health’s announcement on 17 December 2017 to return health care decisions back to local hands by abolishing the CEO and Governing Council positions, the ANMF have swiftly sought further information to provide clarity to members about the management structure till July 2018 and what the proposed new structure will look like. Under a Liberal Government the Minister has confirmed that the Tasmanian Health Service will report directly to the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, Michael Pervan, however, the governance structure in-between has not yet been decided.
The ANMF have also sought confirmation that all members will have the opportunity to participate in the proposed consultation process and this has been confirmed by the Secretary of DHHS. The ANMF will be requesting face to face consultation sessions with a combination of individual and group sessions for nursing and midwifery members. Alternate feedback options such as online feedback and surveys will also be proposed so that all members are afforded the opportunity to participate in the consultation process.
To date, the announcement has created some confusion and at times delayed decision making which has impacted on members in some areas. However, the Minister has confirmed that:
- Plans to recruit to the Executive Director for Patient Safety position on the THS Executive have ceased and the DHHS Secretary is working with staff and on the best direction forward
- That if any vacancies arise in any presently occupied THS Executive positions that they will be filled, including nursing and midwifery positions
- That there will be no changes to the structure of rural, community and palliative care services at the RHH and all other operational structural changes have been put on hold with proposals to be considered by the DHHS Secretary in consultation with stakeholders
- The position of Executive Director of Medical Services for the RHH will be re-advertised early in January 2018
- The recruitment to the position of Executive Director of Operations for the RHH will be finalised urgently
- The DHHS Secretary and THS will be ensuring that Stream Directors are appointed in the North West as a priority
The ANMF will continue to advise members of the progress for consultation process and encourage any member with concern to contact the ANMF member support team.